Give the Gift of Habitat to a Fish With Your Christmas Tree This Year

Photo courtesy of Arkansas Game and Fish Commission

Once the wrapping paper has been thrown away and the last drop of egg nog has been consumed, few people have a use for that evergreen tree that graced their home during the holiday season. The Arkansas Game and Fish Commission has a new job for those leftover trees – as fish habitat.

The AGFC has drop-off locations across the state to let your old Christmas tree have a second life as underwater cover.

Clint Coleman, assistant coordinator for the AGFC’s Family and Community Fishing Program, says the Christmas tree program functions just like a “take-a-penny, leave-a-penny” tray, except it’s for fish.

“Anyone who wants to drop off a natural tree can place it at a location on the list, and anyone who wants to sink a few trees to create their own little honey hole can do that as well,” Coleman said. “You just need to bring your own parachute cord, wire, rope and cinder blocks to sink the trees.”

Coleman says artificial trees are not allowed at the drop off locations, and all trees should be cleaned of ornaments and tinsel before being dropped off.

Christmas trees typically only last a year or two before all that’s left is the main trunk, so Coleman suggests anglers sink groups of trees together. This way, the site is still attractive to baitfish and sport fish long after the smaller branches and needles have rotted away.

Trees can be dropped off at any of the following locations until the end of January:

Central Arkansas

Arkansas River – Alltel Access beneath the I-30 Bridge
Greers Ferry Lake – Sandy Beach (Heber Springs), Devils Fork Recreation Area and Choctaw Recreation Area (Choctaw-Clinton)
Lake Conway – Lawrence Landing Access
Harris Brake Lake – Chittman Hill Access
Lake Overcup – Lake Overcup Landing
Lake Barnett – Reed Access
Lake Hamilton – Andrew Hulsey State Fish Hatchery Access Area

Northeast Arkansas

Jonesboro – Craighead Forest Park Lake boat ramp
Lake Bono – Boat Ramp Access
Lake Poinsett – Dam Access Boat Ramp
Lake Walcott – Crowley’s Ridge State Park Boat Ramp Access

Northwest Arkansas

Beaver Lake – Highway 12 Access and AGFC Don Roufa Hwy 412 Access
Lake Elmdale – Boat Ramp Access
Bob Kidd Lake – Boat Ramp Access
Crystal Lake – Boat Ramp Access

Southeast Arkansas

Lake Chicot – Connerly Bayou Access Area
Lake Monticello – Hunger Run Access
Cox Creek Lake – Cox Creek Lake Access Area

Southwest Arkansas

Bois d’Arc Lake – Kidd’s Landing or Hatfield Access
Millwood Lake – Cottonshed, White Cliffs Recreation Areas and the Millwood State Park ramp on the point
Dierks Lake – Jefferson Ridge South Recreation Area
DeQueen Lake – Any U.S. Army Corps of Engineers boat ramp
Gillham Lake – Any U.S. Army Corps of Engineers boat ramp
Lake Greeson – New Cowhide Cove and Self Creek Recreation areas
Camden – AGFC Regional Office on Ben Lane
Upper White Oak Lake – Upper Jack’s Landing
Magnolia – Columbia County Road Department Yard on Highway 371
El Dorado – City recycling center drop-offs: one behind Arby’s and one on South Jackson
Smackover – Recycling Drop-Off Center (these will be transported to El Dorado)
South Fork Lake – South Fork Lake Access
Terre Noire Lake – Terre Noire Lake Access
Hope – AGFC Regional Office on Hwy. 67 East

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